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A Portfolio of Study, Practice and Research Including a Study of Aggression Experienced by Mental Health Workers.

Moss, Philip. (1999) A Portfolio of Study, Practice and Research Including a Study of Aggression Experienced by Mental Health Workers. Doctoral thesis, University of Surrey (United Kingdom)..

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Abstract

The purpose of this study was to conduct a pilot to assist the development of scales which examine mental health workers’ experiences of aggression, both at work and outside work and which measures attitudes towards tolerating aggression in the workplace. A retrospective postal survey was used, which asked staff about their experiences of aggression between January and December, 1998. The survey achieved a response rate of 31%, or 74 survey responses out of a total sample of 237. Of particular interest, was the inclusion of a community mental health worker sample, previously largely neglected in the research of NHS staffs experiences of aggression. Given the low response rate, the representativeness of the respondent sample will receive comment. Exploratory data analysis was used to identify trends in the survey data, to compare with that reported in the research literature, and to guide future research. Reliability analysis of the scales (using Cronbach’s model of internal consistency) produced alpha coefficients of between 0.79 and 0.98, suggesting acceptable reliability for the purposes of this study. Aggression was categorised according to ‘verbal aggression’, 'physical aggression', ‘non-verbal/indirect aggression,' and damage to property’. Results indicated that being male, working in a hospital inpatient unit, and working with patients who have a history of violence or offending, were likely to be associated with higher frequencies for all types of aggression. Unqualified staff experienced physical aggression more frequently than qualified staff but the overall prevalence of physical aggression was low, with 81% of responses to this category indicating that this had never been experienced in the period studied. Verbal aggression was extremely common both at work and outside work, but threats to harm or kill staff were far more prevalent at work. Support was not found for the concept of ‘tolerable aggression’ at work. There are, however, indications that staff may become habituated to aggression. Also, there is some suggestion that staff feel that they should be able to cope with aggression from patients. These results will contribute to the design of further research studies to consolidate the scale development, improve upon methodologies used, and may have relevance to future staff training. 

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Divisions : Theses
Authors : Moss, Philip.
Date : 1999
Additional Information : Thesis (Psych.D.)--University of Surrey (United Kingdom), 1999.
Depositing User : EPrints Services
Date Deposited : 06 May 2020 14:07
Last Modified : 06 May 2020 14:12
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/856046

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